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‘Malawi needs accountability in social protection initiatives’

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A report on Malawi National Social Protection Programme (MNSSP) has call for increased accountability in the implementation of the programme.

This is one of the recommendations in the report on the six-month review which started in June last year.

The report has outlined ten recommendations for the successor programme.

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“Strengthen accountability particularly at community and district levels, and improve evidence creation and data collection with clear indicators and improved monitoring and evaluation systems for improved accountability across all levels,” reads one of the recommendations.

The MNSSP was being implemented from 2012 to 2016. Its components included Social Cash Transfer Programme, School Meals Programme, Public Works Programme, Micro-Finance Programme and Village Savings Loans.

Other recommendations are development of a system that reduces chronic poverty and vulnerability to poverty and is capable to respond to shocks and enhancement of concrete policy level linkages.

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In an interview yesterday at a high-level meeting on a successor to the programme, Acting Chief Director in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Peter Simbani, said there are measures in place to improve accountability at all levels.

“Accountability has always been a challenge. That’s why we have been strengthening the Public Finance Management System. We believe the measures will also assist in the programme,” Simbani said.

Principal Secretary responsible for administration in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), Clement Chinthu-Phiri presided over the opening of the meeting.

Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Malawi, Jurgen Borsch, said the social protection programme to be developed needs to take a proactive approach and cover key risks and shocks Malawians are facing.

“I think we all agree that Malawi cannot continue with large, costly and recurring emergency programmes every year to ‘shocks’ that are highly predictable. It will serve the government and cooperating partners to invest in long term development structures to build the capacity of households to withstand shocks in the first place,” he said.

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